#360MC // Creative Artefact #3 // Imagination

 

For my third and final Creative Artefact ‘Imagination’ I want to look at Surrealism and the fantastical, other-worldly elements.

Surrealism in cinema created a revolution by dispensing linear narratives and plots. Allow us to be more creative and push the boundaries on reality and what is really there and what is imaginary. “Surrealist films do not merely retell dreams or stories but replicate their very processes through illogical, irrational disruptions and disturbing imagery, uncensored by normal wakeful consciousness or morality.” Many filmmakers convey dreams through surrealism in cinema which is what I’m creating for my final creative artefact

The Seashell and The Clergyman (1928)
Artist: Germaine Dulac
Directed by Germaine Dulac from a screenplay by Antonin Artaud, The Seashell and the Clergyman is considered by most critics to be the first true Surrealist film.

Visually I looked at Dulac’s film for inspiration on dark imagery and the unsettling nature of the film – however adding my own twist with a ‘Slit-Scan’ element to bring in the other-worldly element.  The Slit-Scan technique is mostly know for being first seen in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ when the star gate appears.

Back in 1800’s the pioneers of photography we’re always experimenting with new techniques; one of them being the ‘slit-scan’ technique. ‘Slit-Scan’ is the process of putting a sliding slit between the subject and the photographic plane, exposing the slit as it travelled from one side of the frame to the other.

The Slit-Scan technique became popular when flexible film was released and was mainly used for horse racing (see image below by Chuck Miller)

Saratoga Race Course 1st Race 7/21/13

In the 1940’s gambling on the races was the height of fashion “Contrary to what movies or cartoons depict, these photo finishes weren’t just some guy with a flash bulb at the finish line and a hair trigger. Instead they used a variation of the slitscan called Strip photography.” 

(Stanley Kubrick’s 2001:  A Space Odyssey Star Gate Sequence)

Creative Artefact #3 // The Slit-Scan Experiment from Michaela Knight on Vimeo.

Above is a slit scan I did following the tutorials of Filmmaker IQ. Using the following gradient maps I created on Photoshop I was able to create ‘other worldly’ images expanding my idea of normality and infusing the sense of surrealism. Unfortunately the quality isn’t the greatest as my camera could only shoot up to 30fps and the ideal frames is 60fps but I was still surprised with the outcome. Although the footage is short the editing process was not, spending 4 hours on Adobe After Effects was enough to rip my hair out as I’ve never used it before and it is not the easiest of softwares to figure out. However, I am proud of the outcome and it’s definitely something I’d like to incorporate into future productions.

(Above: Gradient maps used and created with Photoshop)

References

“Slit Scan: Recreating The Star Gate From Stanley Kubrick’S “2001″ Using Legos | Filmmakeriq.Com”. Filmmakeriq.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.

“Surrealist Film Movement, Artists And Major Works”. The Art Story. N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.

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